The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now up here. Topline figures are CON 31%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%, so pretty much normal. The fieldwork of the poll straddled Thursday and Friday so was partially after the Eastleigh result, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect any significant impact until next week’s polling.

On the other trackers there is a drop in approval ratings for both David Cameron and Ed Miliband. Cameron’s approval rating is at minus 23, the first time he has dropped below minus 20 this year. Ed Miliband’s rating is at minus 31, the first time he has dropped below minus 30 since last August.

Economic figures remain extremely bad. On the government’s policy 31% support the government’s basic policy of prioritising the reduction of the deficit, 40% prefer what is essentially the Labour party’s alternative message of prioritising growth in the economy. Looking more specifically at the cuts, 49% think that the government are cutting too much and should reduce or slow the cuts, 35% think they should either speed them up (15%) or that the current balance is about right (20%).

33% of people say they have confidence in Cameron and the coalition to get the country out of the current economic mess, 61% do not. Just 20% of people say they would like to keep George Osborne as Chancellor (very low, but actually marginally up from when YouGov asked the same question last September!). A majority (53%) would like to see him replaced. Amongst Conservative voters a narrow majority (53%) want Osborne to remain.

There were also some questions on Clegg and the Rennard affair. It remains to be seen whether Eastleigh has moved the political narrative on from Rennard – for the last two days it looked as if the story had died a death, but this morning’s Marr show is full of it again. Anyway, for what its worth only 14% of people think that Nick Clegg has been open and honest and only 7% think the Lib Dems have handled the issue well but, as we’ve seen in voting intention polls over the last week, it doesn’t really seem to have had any impact on Lib Dem support. Asked about Nick Clegg’s own future 39% think he should resign, 32% think he should remain… but those thinking he should go are mostly opponents of other political parties. 63% of Lib Dem supporters think Clegg should stay.

242 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 31, LAB 42, LDEM 10, UKIP 11”

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  1. Wes

    Italy :-

    Out of work benefits-only if you live in Italy.LA provide certificate of residence.
    Healthcare-Must be resient & pay into state insurance scheme.
    Housing-unashamedly prioritises own nationals.

    What’s not to like?

    UK is an international welfare lucky dip-with free tickets.

  2. Colin

    This “increasingly unaffordable” argument. Interesting that France & Germany whom you admire have for years spent more on healthcare than we do.

    There ARE OECD countries who spend far less than we do on health care. Mexico, Turkey and Estonia stand out in the .xls data in that link. Should we be looking to them for ideas about our “increasingly unaffordable” system?

  3. @Colin

    My reading around the report on UK health is that smoking, booze, diet and other life-style factors are important in our poor record relative to other countries. Somewhat simplistic to blame the NHS perhaps?

  4. LEFTY

    I referered to our increasingly unaffordable Welfare system.

    Re Healthcare-I cant open that file.

    What are the comparative spends for France , Germany & UK?

    Do they compare like with like?

    And how do they sit with comparative healthcare outcome differences?

  5. I’m in Kenya where the opinion polls appear to have got the result of the Presidential election badly wrong. All the pre-election polls bar one showed Raila Odinga in a narrow 1-3% lead. One showed Uhuru Kenyatta with a 0.4% lead. All the polls showed the 2 main candidates had between about 43% and 46% of the vote each, which signalled a run-off vote as neither had over 50%. However with about 30% of the votes cast yesterday now counted, Uhuru has 54% and Raila 40%. Whether this represents poor opinion polling, late swing or something more sinister is difficult to glean. The gap has narrowed slightly and will probably continue to do so as Uhuru’s areas are counting faster (like Labour in our GEs) but most people here now think U will win without a run off being needed. This will be a major problem for US and Europe – both Uhuru and his Deputy Ruto are indicted for serious crimes during the previous disputed elections in 2007-8. UK is the largest investor in Kenya and also has to take account of the Anglo-Kenyan minority. Unfortunately US sabre-rattling about the consequences of a vote for Uhuru appear to have had the opposite effect – by solidifying his (Kikuyu) vote, as anyone with an understanding of Kenyan history could have predicted. Even so the discrepancy between the apparent result and the opinion polls is strange – some are saying the problem is due to lack of voter registration, bearing in mind that Raila has more appeal to the poor, but of course ethnicity not class is the main driver of voting intention here. I thought I would share this with UKPR. I wonder if Anthony knows about the Kenyan opinion polls ?

  6. @ Alec

    You left me in charge of service PMI this morning and I am simply not up to the task- promoted before my time I think :-)

    51.8 was the figure which is a slight improvement on the month before. However I would suggest this still leaves the triple dip 50:50 as the services PMI last year was almost always above the 50 mark even though we did have an official recession and with the Manufacturing and Construction still dodgy I think it will be a very close run thing- almost as exciting as Eastleigh!

  7. At least we know what support the Tories will get in the next election.


    “Over the past few days a lot of “lessons” have been drawn from the Eastleigh byelection. Most are of no fundamental importance. The key fact is that the crushing defeat of the Tories is simply part of the trend of Tory electoral decline. This analysis also enables us to predict that the Tory party will get 30.3% of the vote at the next general election. ”

  8. ERNIE

    They are certainly a factor.-particularly drugs & drink for younger age groups.

    And Italy & Greece do better than us despite lower healthcare spends-perhaps pointing to healthier diets.

    THe Guardian reports as follows :-

    “The UK ranked 12th out of 19 countries of similar affluence in 2010 in terms of healthy life expectancy at birth, according to a detailed analysis from the Global Burden of Disease data collected by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle.

    Despite big increases in funding for the NHS in recent years and many reform initiatives, the UK was in exactly the same place as in the league table for 1990, according to the IHME report, published in the Lancet medical journal.

    While life expectancy has improved by 4.2 years in the UK over the two decades, other countries have improved faster. In 2010, Spain topped the league. Its people could expect 70.9 years of healthy life – before disease and disability began to take a toll. Second came Italy, with 70.2 years and third was Australia, on 70.1 years. In the UK, we can expect 68.6 healthy years of life.”

    There has been a startling increase, say the authors, in Alzheimer’s disease, which is up by 137% to be the 10th leading cause of death.

  9. The NHS thing is all part of the propaganda. We may as well get used to it.

  10. NICKP

    @The NHS thing is all part of the propaganda. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle.

    People like you & Danny Boyle do the NHS no service at all.

    The Public Sector, in all it’s guises is there primarily for the benefit of it’s clients , customers & patients.

    Not for the benefit of it’s Staff.

  11. Low life expectancy could be related to longer working hours with less health and saftey

  12. @ Colin

    There are so many factors it woul dbe difficult to say why life expectancy is rising slower in the UK. I would argue this says nothing about the NHS.

    Like you say this can be down to diet or more likely a whole string of reasons to do with lifestyle- working longer hours, drinks/drugs, retiring later, more semi polluted cities, climate, stress and so on.

    I’m not an expert so I wouldn’t like to say which of these are factors but feels like some or all of them could be.

  13. Oddly the NHS is partly so expensive because of the various cost cutting drives (in the first half of the 2000s investment triggered large increases in running cost and later – just as in the 1980-90s – the reduction in “slack” made responsiveness of the NHS possible only by disproportionate incremental cost increases).

  14. Nick P,
    Sadly the Ross article is as partisan as Montgomeries.

  15. “ Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle.”

    They wrote the report, but they didn’t write the misleading Times headline.

  16. Not sure why the government is running the NHS down-that and Justice are the only two things which are working well at the moment!

  17. There has been a startling increase, say the authors, in Alzheimer’s disease, which is up by 137% to be the 10th leading cause of death.
    -Alzheimer’s in common with other forms of dementia is increasing fundamentally because nothing else is killing people first.

    As most late onset dementias do not become prevalent until the 70’s or 80’s if life expectancy is around 65 clearly few people will die demented.

    With out fundamental improvements in the treatment (not simply delay) of dementia related conditions around 50% of individuals currently under the age of 50 can expect to die with some degree of dementia already affecting their daily living activities.

    That ends my cheery thought for the day!

  18. @Nick P

    That article you provided a link to makes interesting reading and no doubt gave rise to Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s tome, “The Strange Death of Tory England.” ChrisLane 1945 will be disappointed!


    “People like you & Danny Boyle do the NHS no service at all.
    The Public Sector, in all it’s guises is there primarily for the benefit of it’s clients , customers & patients.
    Not for the benefit of it’s Staff.”

    You keep banging on about this and I’m starting to worry that it may be becoming an obsession with you. The figures reported today do indeed show that the health outcomes and life expectancy in the UK haven’t improved as much as in some other OECD countries over the last 23 years, but if you read what it says in the round, dispassionately and without cherry-picking selected quotations, you must conclude that the reasons why that might be the case are complex and multi-faceted.

    It’s a colossal leap of logic to say that the report is another indictment of our National Health Service, certainly in terms of how we treat and cure illnesses. No objective person could argue that enormous improvements haven’t been achieved in these areas over the last 25 years or so. Where we obviously need to improve, and this is all about prevention rather than cure, is the way we lead our lives in terms of alcohol consumption, smoking, diet, exercise and the abuse of recreational drugs. Why we’re more self destructive in our behaviours on these key health issues in this country is an entirely separate issue to how good the NHS may be in treating us and I fear you may be conflating your very obvious antipathy to a public organisation with a whole range of very complicated but unrelated issues.

    We may have to look at ourselves a little more to understand why we’re a less healthy nation than some others. You mustn’t keep looking for any old stick that might to come along just so you can beat the NHS with it.

  19. Where do the USA come in the league table of “improved healthy life expectation”?

    There’s a good case for agruing that a hyper-competitive dog-eat-dog market economy will kill people off quicker, or at least wear out their healthy bodies with drink, drugs and stress, quicker than a more sharing economy where the wealth gap is smaller.

    Let’s see the research on that one.

  20. A mystery figure who dressed as Batman and handed a wanted man in at a police station has been unmasked.

    Stan Worby, 39, said he accompanied his friend in Bradford while dressed as the caped crusader as a joke.
    Impostor We all know it was really Bruce Wayne.
    To the bat polls!

  21. NICKP

    @”You mustn’t keep looking for any old stick that might to come along just so you can beat the NHS with it.”

    There you go again.

    No criticism permitted-even if they indicate that patient care might be very poor-or non-existent.

    It is no surprise-I’m watching the excruciating spectacle of Nicholson before the Health SC.

    No clear lines of responsibility/ Culture of fear/Patient complainants described as “lobbyists”/Critical Reports suppressed/ Awkward stats refuted rather than followed up………………..

  22. By the way…

    “The health secretary has recently warned health managers not to gag genuine whistle-blowers.

    The department (of Health) had said it took no part in drawing up the “gagging” clauses in compromise agreements.

    But it has now confirmed that since 2005 it has vetted all proposed special severance payments to NHS staff. “

  23. colin

    You quote me saying something that I have never, never said. Not for the first time.

    Don’t do that.

  24. @Colin

    “When you read through the methods used by France, Italy, Germany & Spain, they are all policed by using the record of contributions to a mandatory State Insurance scheme as entitlement trigger.”

    If I go to any of these countries, I can get health care as long as I have an EHIC card

  25. Those that believe that a privatized health service would result in better value for money should read the time magazine article on the american health system

  26. Nicholson was asked what are the key actions for him to implement the Francis Report recommendations.

    The first thing he said was –

    “Set out basic standards of care” !!!

  27. @Robin

    “If I go to any of these countries, I can get health care as long as I have an EHIC card”

    Then again there are some countries where the first thing they look for is your credit card, even before taking your pulse!

    Mind you you, probably less “bloated pubic sectors” in those utopias.

  28. @SMukesh
    “Not sure why the government is running the NHS down-that and Justice are the only two things which are working well at the moment!”

    Apt timing for President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, to criticise the Ministry of Justice for unwise cuts to legal aid.

  29. Latest from Kenyan vote-count (see my earlier post this morning) is that delays in tallying are worst in 3 areas which are all likely to poll very heavily for Raila, so all is not yet lost for the opinion pollsters . No doubt the majority of the diplomatic community will be hoping this pulls Uhuru under 50% . The current figures with about 35% of votes counted is Uhuru Kenyatta 53.9% Raila Odinga 41.5%, which is still a big gap.

  30. Looking a whole lot like the Council of Europe are going to vote through pay bonus restrictions for workers in the financial sector. The agreement looks to be a restriction that bankers will be limited to bonuses that double their take-home pay. GO is opposed, but this can be passed with a super-majority of the council and seems very likely to be.

  31. I always think that if our benefits system is more generous to foreigners resident here than it need be, then it could be changed to otherwise, overnight, as it were, with clear all-party support.

    I don’t know the facts but such an instantly popular measure would appear top be a no-brainer.

    (That’s if the premise is correct of course, – a few smileys perhaps? )..


  32. An interest analysis of UKIPers by Peter Kellner.

  33. Lefty

    “This “increasingly unaffordable” argument. Interesting that France & Germany whom you admire have for years spent more on healthcare than we do.”

    Apologies for jumping into your debate but I just tuned in and your posts were at the top of the page.
    The French system is massively and I mean millions in the red (underfunded) despite health cotisations (NI equivalent) being very high. (Approaching 50%) Additional taxes have been invented over the years to try & reduce the shortfall – CSG, CRDS to name two & these are levied on French pensions, investment income, rental income etc. NI is not of course, levied on pensioners in the UK.
    The result is, arguably, the best healthcare in the world with not very much in the way of waiting lists, hospitals with 2 bed wards etc.
    But..there is no way that anyone will get free treatment, who is not entitled to it and any non active immigrants, including Brits, cannot gain entry until they have been in residence & paid taxes for 5 years. So you need an S.1 or private cover, or an EHIC card if you are a European visitor. Obviously if you work you pay & gain entry straight away. And its not a totally free system anyway, mostly, it’s a 70% free system, you insure the balance or pay it yourself. Obviously there is a free scheme for the very poor and incurable stuff like cancer are covered 100%

    I have never understood the left in the UK, who seem pre occupied with ensuring that the world can be treated under the NHS and always object to any measures to keep such people out, or at least make them pay. As DC often says, it is a National health service, not an International one.

  34. ROBERT


    Very interesting.

  35. Colin

    I’ll graph up the OECD data when I get a moment (!).

    For now, here’s a couple of data points.

    Total national health spend as % of GDP

    Germany 10.6%
    France 10.6%
    UK 6.6%

    Germany 11.6%
    France 11.6%
    UK 9.6%

    As for outcomes, these are notoriously difficult to unpick from other, social and environmental issues. But as a big, vague sledgehammer figure, here is male life expectancy at age 65.

    Germany 80.2
    France 81.3
    UK 80.1

    Germany 82.6
    France 83.4
    UK 83.1

    (Not deliberately choosing years here – no data for France for 2010)

    And for females
    Germany 84.1
    France 85.9
    UK 83.5

    Germany 85.8
    France 87.6
    UK 85.9

    Make of that what you will.

  36. Good Afternoon All. Beautiful day; early finish for me.

    Has anyone wondered about whether drugs which actually prolong life, when the elderly person is confined to her or his bed, are good?

    Certainly very expensive.

  37. Robert N

    Thanks for that info. Very interesting.

    I suspect that most countries have lessons to give and learn in healthcare provision and cost/payment (other than the USA of course which has a grotesquely expensive system with little obvious benefit and has few if any lessons to give to any other country) . No country has perfected the issue.

    My take (and it appears to be backed up by a cursory look at the OECD data is that we in the UK don’t do at all badly, considering that we spend significantly less than similar countries on health care. I am deeply suspicious of headlines like today’s, screaming that we have fallen behind comparable countries in SOME measures of health.

    As ever, I’m a big picture person – anyone can find details that support their preconceived beliefs. So, a big picture that shows us going some way towards making up the gap between our health spending and that of comparable countries, whilst at the same time making up a good deal of the gap (or eliminating it) on life expectancy does, at the very least, suggest that the NHS is not the disaster that some would like to claim it to be.

  38. Has our thread monitor resigned?

    Ah well.

    It falls to me then. You know what.

    Very interesting to see your posts on the Kenya election. I do not have any insights to add to yours, except to sugrest that you use ‘trtibal” rather than “ethnic” as the overwhelming basis of the vote; Raila Odinga, I assume being Luo, and Uhuru Kenyatta being Kikuyu.
    Have the two tribes ceased to be in alliance in the KAU? Or are Raila and Uhuru both within the same party.
    Oddly enough I had a very clear dream of talking to Tom Mboya at a conference a couple of nights ago: perhaps the only TU based and non-tribal figure in the process of political development: folliwing independence; what a difference he might have made not just to Kenyan but to African politics.

    Maybe you’ll allow me to step in with a correction before, as I hope you may, you bring me up to date.
    Apart from being 53 years out of date my post was spot-on. KAU, of course, became KANU in 1960, prior to full independence, and broadened its base following its defeat of KADU, the Kalenjin, Masai, Swahili/coasral alliance which had ruled during the self-governing period, and KANU remained in office till 2002. I notice that the BBC and Wiki both incorrectly in my view use ethnic to describe electoral and the 2010 violent clashes, rather than tribal – the latter were criminally inspired, not tribally for all the attempt to inflame tribalism. it really is important for the western media not to see Kenyan politics in either ethnic or tribal terms; it has been one of the most successful post-colonial countries in creating a market economy and in governing through tribal alliances essentially for national economic development.


  42. LEFTY

    Thanks for that data.

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